Today’s guest post comes to us from Danielle with Tiger Sheds, she is going to tell us all about activities we can do with our kids in the garden!
Activities in the garden for both you and the children
With the long summer vacation coming up, parents are frantically thinking of things to do to entertain their children. With everyone feeling the pinch, it’s not viable (financially or practically) to take the children on expensive day trips all the time. So why don’t you take some inspiration from outside your doorstep? Getting the children involved with your garden is a great way to keep them occupied, and also encourages them to have their own summer projects. Here a few different ideas to help you inspire your children…
Show them where the weeds are
Ok, this may sound a little too good to be true but hear me out. Encouraging the children to help out in the garden isn’t as farfetched as it sounds. If you include them when you’re doing your garden maintenance, it gives them a sense of achievement and inclusion. So when you next need some weeds removed, make it into a game. Show them the different types of weeds in the garden, maybe even make some posters showing the different types so they know what to look for. Give them some gardening gloves and a bucket, and encourage them to pull up as many weeds as they can and the child with the most weeds in the bucket wins. With supervision, this will also enable you to show them the plants that you WANT to keep; this means the next time they are kicking a ball round the garden, they know which plants to avoid hitting! If you have a wooden garden shed or outbuilding where you keep your gardening equipment, let them have their own place where they can put their gloves and bucket ready for another day.
Encourage them to do choose some plants for the garden
When planting with children, there are a couple of different routes you can go down. You can sow some seeds of vegetables or flowers and encourage your child to take care of it every day, showing them how to be patient and responsible as the little seedlings grow. Or if patience isn’t so much of a virtue, you can buy flowers and plants from gardening outlets which have already grown and are just starting to bloom. Ask your child where they would like to put their newly acquired plants in the flowerbed, and encourage them to help you prepare the soil for the new arrivals. You can still show your child how to look after their plants, they just won’t have to wait as long for results. Alternatively, you can plant some watercress, which grows super quickly: this means the children get the full experience of planting seeds and watching them grow without having to wait for weeks!
Make a bird feeder
Making your own bird feeder for the garden is a great way to help children think about wildlife, and it gives them a sense of responsibility. It’s really easy to make your own bird feeder, which you can hang on your washing line or tree branch in the garden. All you need is a plastic drinks bottle, scissors, string and bird seed. Adult help will be required for the cutting. Cut a hole on the side of the plastic bottle, not too big that the seed will fall out but big enough for the birds to put their head and neck through. Also put some small holes in the bottom of the bottle which allows rainwater to drain through. Fill the feeder with bird seed and then hang it with strong string (or even wire) to your washing line or tree branch. Make it your child’s responsibility to keep an eye on the feeder, to make sure there is enough seed in it. If you can see the feeder from your window, encourage your child to keep track of how many birds visit the feeder and you can even help them identify what type of birds visit your garden.
These are simple ideas which will hopefully help keep the children entertained throughout the summer. They certainly don’t cost the earth and help you as a family to make the most out of your garden – whether you have acres of land or a couple of flowerbeds!
Danielle Birch writes on behalf of Tiger Sheds, a garden shed retailer. Danielle is a garden and home improvement enthusiast who hopes to inspire everyone (young and old alike) to make the most out of their garden.